Fibronectin (FN), which is already known to be a natural factor for fibroblast spreading on substrata, has now been shown to be essential for two distinct types of adhesion with different biological functions in chick heart fibroblasts, namely adhesion directed toward locomotion and toward stationary anchorage for growth. Manipulation of culture conditions and the use of antisera of differing specificities has demonstrated that both exogenous and cell-derived FN are important in each process. The organization of the fibronectin-containing matrix differs between the two states. Immunoelectron microscopy with a colloidal gold marker reveals the presence of small membrane-associated plaques of fibronectin in motile cells with associated submembranous specialization. A fibrillar matrix containing fibronectin is dominant in nonmotile, growing fibroblasts. The development of focal adhesions for stationary anchorage can be dramatically enhanced by addition of cell-derived FN at an appropriate stage, and this promotes entry into the growth cycle. New macromolecular synthesis in addition to FN is necessary for focal adhesion development but not for locomotion.

This content is only available as a PDF.